Why Stillness Sometimes Beats Progress

Last week was tough.  Tougher than tough. I was working on the road in four states in as many days.  When I travel, even during Billy's weeks with our kids, we have to find a spot for the kids to go before and after school (Gabe leaves for work before they do), and cover carpool, etc. [...]

By | 2017-05-12T08:57:39+00:00 October 31st, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Our Life Together|

Our Tribe: How We Make Coparenting Work

Lottie is a writer.  I found her latest story on my dresser last week, and paused at the back cover.  On it, she'd illustrated a picture of herself  and written "About the Auter:  Lottie Chapman is eight years old, has seven brothers and sisters and six chickens." That was a big moment for me, standing [...]

By | 2017-08-17T10:31:56+00:00 October 25th, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Divorce, Our Life Together, Our Story|

6 Ways to Keep Kids Safe Online

Our life by the numbers still catches me by surprise.  Six kids, seven bedrooms, four gallons of milk a week - I could go on and on.  We live in bulk.  When I recently realized we have more than 20 internet-connected devices in our home, I was shocked.   Twenty ways for our people to reach the world, [...]

On Loving Your Second Choice

I didn't plan to get divorced.  I  certainly didn't plan to end up a stepmother.  Let's face it, neither of those gigs come with a side of public adoration, or even a modicum of respect, frankly. I had planned to follow a traditional path - love, marriage, baby carriage.  I had planned to live my [...]

By | 2016-12-15T17:27:20+00:00 October 19th, 2016|Divorce, Our Love Story, Our Story|

Vacation Mistakes We Make Every.Damn.Time

We just got back from a weekend in the mountains with all the children.  Just typing that phrase makes me anxious.  Vacations have a Groundhog's Day air about them around here - lots gets repeated, little is learned and there's too much crying and too little vacay-ing. When we first bought the RV, we committed to getting [...]

By | 2016-12-15T17:30:08+00:00 October 17th, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Our Life Together, Traveling Together|

How We Included Our Children in Our Blended Wedding

When Gabe proposed, I was over the moon.  Like any giddy bride to be, I could not wait to walk down the aisle and become his wife.  Unlike most brides, the idea of a wedding made me instantly and wildly anxious. It wasn't the wedding itself - I love a party.  It wasn't the planning either.  It [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:50:32+00:00 October 14th, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Our Story, Our Wedding, Stepparenting|

We Kicked the Kids Out to Make Room for Our Marriage

When Gabe and I moved in together, our focus was nearly entirely on the children's transition.  All of our time was consumed by setting up the house, and making it a home for our bunch.  We carefully considered the balance of new vs. old, the need for a fresh start vs. familiar objects.  We painted rooms [...]

By | 2017-03-08T15:51:02+00:00 October 11th, 2016|Our Home, Our Life Together|

Can’t Win for Losing? Change Your Expectations

Years ago, just after Simon was born, I remember looking at him and marveling at how completely my life had changed.  Before baby, I was a productive force to be reckoned with - I could accomplish fifteen things before walking into work.  I had my stuff together, and I knew it (humility has never been [...]

By | 2017-03-22T14:50:46+00:00 October 10th, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Our Bunch, Our Story|

Christmas Traditions: The Sibling Tree

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Last night, after two days of insistent urging, we drew names for the Sibling Tree.  The Sibling Tree is a favorite tradition in our house (borrowed and adapted from a dear friend), and eagerly anticipated.  It works a bit like a Secret Santa gift exchange.  Each child puts his or [...]

By | 2016-12-15T17:43:04+00:00 October 3rd, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Holidays and Traditions, Our Life Together|